Things I’ve learnt while being away.

We’ve just been away for 3 weeks.  A great holiday, all our relatives live in Perth so the girls get a huge amount of attention from everyone and get to catch up and know everyone.  It’s wonderful, but no matter how nice everyone is it’s hard to live in someone else’s house for that long.  I’m glad to be back to my own washing machine, my own kitchen and the girls’ own beds and toys!

Rather than a travelogue and a bit in the spirit of cAt’s earlier post, here are some of the tips and tricks and ‘Things I’ve Learnt While Being Away.”

  • If you are so unfortunate as to have an electric hot water system, turn it off before you leave.  And for the week before you go eat leftovers and clear the fridge!

  • If you have a long drive, put any nappy-wearers into a night nappy.  It’s not nice to leave them in it for so long, but it’s less nice to wake them up and change them – drive as much as you can while they’re asleep!


  • A baby carrier of some sort is brilliant to get them on and off planes, I have one that carries on the front and has plastic buckles so it goes through security and is easy to get on and off in the 2 square feet of space you get in an airplane seat.


  • Our eldest must eat every two hours or you will suffer the consequences, with the emphasis on suffer.  Those blood sugar levels crash and it isn’t pretty.  Even if it’s only a little bit, she has to have something.  Breadsticks or Grissini are great to keep in the car as emergency food, they don’t go off or stale.  We used to have sultanas, but unfortunately our youngest reacts badly.


  •  Act like a tourist.  We grew up in Perth and know it pretty well, but our kids don’t.  Don’t get into the rut of just doing normal things and seeing family, go to the zoo, the museum, the national parks, the galleries.  While you’re there, use your baby carrier from the plane – we went to one attraction that had about 15 sets of stairs, and I’ve never had so many men carrying prams looking at me longingly.


  • Plan on lots of long car drives.  It may just be our terrible sleepers, but between jet lag, excitement and relatives who don’t allow for little children there will be lots of late nights.  And a 14 month old can go all day without a nap if she’s really determined not to miss out, but then see the point about suffering the consequences.  So we try to plan a drive around her nap time, and if she falls asleep we just keep driving.


  • If you’re going out in the afternoon/evening, take their PJs.  It’s much easier to change them into jammies for the drive home then pop them straight into bed, than get home late and try to change them then.


  • If you’re a clothie, have a strict washing routine and stick to it!  Don’t ever, ever think “Oh, there’re plenty of nappies there, I can wash them tomorrow morning.”  Even if you are washing at 11pm, get them done!!!! On that point, we use cloth exclusively even while travelling in winter, I wash every second day and transport all the dirty nappies from the travel.  She’s in them for a bit longer than I like, but it’s certainly do-able.


  • Finally, when you get home turn the hot water system on straight away!  And if you live in a hard water area like we do, spray the shower rose with CLR to avoid the needles of water from the calcium buildup while you’ve been away.  (Remember to run it before jumping under – you don’t want to shower in CLR!)

So today we’re unpacking, washing and rearranging, trying to get set for another dose of reality.

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